District Court of South Australia
The District Court of South Australia is South Australia's principal trial court. It was established as a court of record by the District Court Act 1991. Prior to that the Court had existed since 1969 under the Local and District Criminal Courts Act 1926.
Jurisdiction and appointment of judges
Judges of the District Court are appointed by the Governor of South Australia on the advice of the Executive Council. Once appointed, they cannot be removed from office except by an address from both houses of the South Australian Parliament. They must retire when they reach the age of 70. Judges of the Industrial Relations Court, the Environment, Resources and Development Court, the Licensing Court and the Youth Court, as well as Masters of the Supreme Court, also formally hold office as District Court Judges. They are not listed on this page (except where they have also served as a District Court Judge).
The work of the Court is divided into four areas: civil, criminal, administrative and disciplinary, and criminal injuries. The District Court can hear most civil and criminal matters except for offences related to murder and treason. It also has jurisdiction over criminal injuries compensation claims. In the administrative and disciplinary division, the Court hears appeals from various government agencies, tribunals and disciplinary bodies. The Court is usually constituted of a single judge sitting alone or with a jury (in criminal trials only). In certain cases a judge may sit with two assessors who, with the judge, determine factual questions while the judge determines questions of law. For ceremonial occasions such as the swearing in of a new judge, the Court sits as a Full Court constituted of all available judges.
The main seat of the Court is the Sir Samuel Way Building in Victoria Square, Adelaide. It also conducts circuits in Mount Gambier, Berri, Port Pirie, Whyalla and Port Lincoln (civil), and Mount Gambier and Port Augusta (criminal).
Current Judges of the District Court
(Date of appointment appears in brackets)
- Geoffrey Muecke (1 April 1999 as puisne, 25 July 2013 as Chief Judge)
- Michael Evans (from 20 December 2016)
- Paul Rice (3 October 2000)
- Steven Millsteed (19 July 2004)
- Michael Boylan (7 October 2004)
- Barry Beazley (10 March 2005)
- Gordon Barrett (19 May 2005)
- Wayne Chivell (9 June 2005)
- Sydney Tilmouth (9 June 2005)
- Rauf Soulio (12 October 2006)
- Julie McIntyre (25 October 2007)
- Peter Brebner (21 August 2008)
- Paul Cuthbertson (6 August 2009)
- Simon Stretton (4 February 2010)
- Geraldine Davison (25 June 2012)
- Paul Muscat (25 June 2012)
- Paul Slattery (25 June 2012)
- Joanne Tracey (5 March 2015)
- Sophie David (22 December 2015)
- Jane Schammer (12 December 2016)
- Peter Norman
- Mark Rice
- Mark Blumberg
- Martin Keith (Auxiliary Master as of March 2016)